Mystery Science Theatre 3000 on stage
"Mystery Science Theatre 3000" was canceled a decade ago, but now some of its former members are back with new studio DVDs and a live stage version of their act.
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What do you get when you combine robots, mad scientists, bad movies, and throw in some witty sarcasm? "Mystery Science Theatre 3000."
"Mystery Science Theatre 3000" was a low-budget cult favorite during its run on cable TV from 1988 to 1999. The show, which featured a human and his two robots buddies endlessly mocking some of the worst films ever made, won awards, critical praise and adoring fans called “Mysties.”
Its unwitting hero, Joel, was trapped in outer space, forced to sit through a horrible B-movies, along with his smart-alec robot companions, Crow and Tom Servo. They survived by mocking the films.
Memebers of the old guard have embarked on a new project called “Cinematic Titanic.”
"It's us being ourselves. It is kind of the people who were dressed up in outrageous costumes and shaking those puppets. It is just more direct, because we are really just presenting a live concert of riffing," says Joel Hodgson.
"We were all just stand up comics, so to actually get back to a situation where there is a laugh attached to the joke that you are telling is really like crack for us," remarks Josh Weinstein. He was just 17 years old when Joel asked him to shake a puppet as the voice of robot Tom Servo.
The other robot, Crow T. Robot, was voiced by Trace Bullieau, who also played Dr. Clayton Forrester, the dorky mad scientist who blasted Joel into space and watch all of those terrible movies.
"People think that we don't like these movies, that we are attacking them. But, I think we all have a great affection for these films."
The television program was tightly scripted, but this new endeavor is largely improvised.
"With 'Mystery Science Theatre,' it was just us and the movie. Now there is this third element that comes into it. We're kind of sandwiched between the movie and the people, and so we are working in both directions," says Hodgson.
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